$1.1B Made Available for Development of Stem Cell Research Facilities in California

In an effort to accommodate the demand for more stem cell research in California, a group of organizations has committed an aggregate $831 million for the construction of facilities to be designed specifically for stem cell research activities. The funding will allow for a total of $1.1 billion for the projects, which will be located across the state.A sum of $271 million from the state stem cell agency, the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, will be divided among 12 institutions that submitted proposals to CIRM’s Major Facilities Grant program. Those institutions will also contribute to the cause, promising funds totaling $560 million to be culled from donations and internal sources. California is considered one of the top markets for stem cell research in the world, but finding the appropriate space to accommodate the variety of researchers’ activities has been a growing challenge. “It’s not that the space is non-existent, but what we have is inadequate,” a CIRM spokesperson told CPN today. “California attracts researchers because of the availability of funding for stem cell research, but the space is just not enough.”All told, the new centers will create a total of 800,000 square feet of space. Some of the facilities will be built from the ground up, and others will involve the redevelopment of existing structures. The list of grant recipients encompasses such institutions as the Buck Institute for Age Research, the San Diego Consortium for Regenerative Medicine, Stanford University, the University of Southern California and eight colleges within the University of California system. Stanford is receiving nearly $43.6 million from CIRM to assist in the development of its $200 million, 200,000-square-foot Stanford Institutes of Medicine 1 building; the university plans to raise the remaining $150 million mainly from private donors. Work on the 12 facilities will commence as soon as possible in an effort to wrap up construction endeavors within a two-year timeframe.